The Department of Communication Disorders offers a Master of Science degree in speech-language pathology through the School of Health and Human Services. Matriculated students come from a variety of undergraduate degree programs. Their differing preparations provide a welcome diversity which enriches the program's educational offerings. The program is designed to prepare students to practice as speech-language pathologists in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, clinics, public and private schools and private practice. The educational program includes instruction in a broad array of diagnostic and treatment paradigms as well as supervised hands-on experience in the department's unique Center for Communication Disorders and at selected off-campus sites including schools and hospitals.
The curriculum prepares students to serve as effective professionals in speech-language pathology. All students acquire a core of knowledge in normal developmental processes, language development, anatomy and neuroanatomy related to speech, language, hearing, and swallowing, as well as, speech and hearing science. Students learn the requisite skills to diagnose and treat children and adults with disorders in language, articulation, phonology, fluency, swallowing, voice and velopharyngeal function, as well as neurophysiologically-based speech and language, and cognitive disorders. Students also become proficient in the use and application of augmentative and alternative forms of communication and in the implementation of collaborative service delivery models.
Students will demonstrate knowledge in the following areas: normal developmental processes; hearing science; speech science; diagnostic audiology; rehabilitative audiology; research in the field of communication disorders; diagnostic and remedial principles in communication disorders; learning theory; cognitive development; dysphagia; literacy. This professional competence is demonstrated through successful completion of the ASHA Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) requirements.
Students will demonstrate knowledge of research findings and an interest in continuing education in order to develop and maintain clinical competencies to meet the needs of the speech-language-hearing impaired individual. This is demonstrated through completion of the Competency-Based Evaluation for Clinical Practicum and successful completion of the 605 capstone project or a thesis.
Students will demonstrate skills in goal setting, evaluation, interpersonal management, counseling, and professional report writing. This is demonstrated through the successful generalization of knowledge and skills as assessed by clinical instructors incidentally and through completion of the Competency-Based Evaluation for Clinical Practicum.